Youth Empowerment
Unemployment still on the Rise

Unemployment still on the Rise

Nigeria’s unemployment numbers jumped by nearly 30 percent this year to 16 million, according to a November report by the National Bureau of Statistics; Another two million are expected to be unemployed by the end of the year, less than forty percent of Nigeria’s nearly 200 million people are fully employed.

Many Nigerian youths hit the streets looking for a job every day, most seek employment years after graduation. They set out from their house in the morning not knowing where they are going to, they just have that hope, that belief, that they’ll find something.

Nigeria overtook India this year as having the largest number of people living in extreme poverty – 87 million, according to the Washington-based Brookings Institution. Nigeria edged-out of its worst recession in nearly three decades last year, unemployment and poverty have yet to see a positive impact.

 The major factors contributing to high unemployment rates are:

High and Rapid Population: There has been an increase in the growth of the labor forces along with the inadequate supply of jobs joined with rural-urban migration.  

Unstable and corrupt political environment: The failure of the government to achieve their constitutional duties has resulted in the high level of unemployment. The high level of corruption in Nigeria among politicians has resulted in the mismanagement of the funds and resources allocated for quality education and the creation of job opportunities.  

Poor quality of education and lack of skill: Most Nigerian graduates are unemployable due to the result of the educational program which usually include theories and a lack of practical use of knowledge. Most tertiary educational courses lack entrepreneurial training, most youths disdain skills acquisition, they prefer white collar jobs. With such mentally, they become liabilities to themselves and others when they cannot find a job

Lack of infrastructure: Bad roads and unsteady power supply has made the economy hostile to investors. The absence of investors influences the number of available jobs. Lack of good infrastructure leads to high cost of production causing operating companies to few staff.

Economy Downturn:  The recent decline in the country’s economy has drastically increased unemployment rate. A lot of people have been laid off because employers cannot afford to pay their large number of workers and new were not created leaving them jobless.  

The adverse effect unemployment in has on economy and the society includes: Reduction in the national output of goods and services, increased rural-urban migration, high level of poverty in Nigeria and  high rate of crimes.  

To tackle unemployment in Nigeria:

  • The Nigeria government must be productive and effective in performing their duties, while creating a socio-economic environment. It is very important to understand the types of unemployment in Nigeria.
  •  The educational system needs to be reformed in order to produce skilled graduates, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Schools should produce graduates with practical background.
  •  Creation of schools, good amenities and job opportunities in rural areas will reduce rural-urban migration. Empower individuals in rural communities to be experts in creating wealth.
  • Industrial friendly environment should be created to attract investors. Nigeria is blessed with many unutilized resources which are enough to employ people when properly utilized. Mechanized farms can be established by individuals or government in various locations of the country.    
  • Youths should be more interested in acquiring other skills that will be beneficial to them even when there are no white collar jobs available, also in return they can become employers of labour thus reducing unemployment rate.

To combat unemployment rate we all have a role to play.  We must all change our attitudes and approach to factors that threaten people’s employability status; ranging from choosing credible leaders to learning new skills and advocating for government policies that supports this cause.